Steven L. Taylor
Sunday, June 26, 2022
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective.
He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog).
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“President Trump, on behalf of all the Maga patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the supreme court yesterday,”
Mary Miller, Republican Illinois 15th Congessional District
I think that is what we call “The mother of all Kinsley gaffes.” And oh yeah, the crowd cheered.
Brexit can not fail, it can only be failed.
And the band played on.
She’s backpedaling on this, claiming she misread the text. Right. “The mother of all Kinsley gaffes.” Indeed.
“When people show you who they are, believe them.”
As depressing as the overturning of Roe is and the fear it raises about erosion of other rights, that may pale in comparison to the realization that Dems may surrender without a fight. From the Dem leadership gerontocracy living in the 1980’s and left leaning progressive organizations arguing about internal issues, while others join the purity police, at the risk of alienating their donors, it doesn’t look good.
Ruy Teixeira takes a stab at summarizing the progressive organization problem and how it can blunt Dem efforts to push back.
Maybe the overturning of Roe will be a tipping point to stanch America’s slide to the 19th century, but I doubt it.
@OzarkHillbilly: @Sleeping Dog:
Years ago, my youngest sister said: “If white women didn’t have abortions, no one would care about it.” Of course, she was right.
I think that’s the result of the human propensity to rely on narrative for explanation.
We build a narrative to explain things, and it makes sense. So we implement it, and we get a different outcome. When this happens, we tend to look for ways of explaining how things went wrong, but seldom question the narrative.
The thinking is if we do A, then narrative says we get B. Instead we do A and we get C. The sensible approach would be to update our info and know that A gets C rather than B, so we need to look for another way to get B, not keep doing A which gets C in the hope that the outcome will be different.
In the wake of Roe, Ross Douthat, David French and Brent Orrell (at the Bulwark) all have essays up imploring the right to take up the cause of children and mothers. Of course they won’t. The DC R’s never cared about abortion, except as a political issue and the social conservative leadership will distract their lemmings by moving on to the next right to overturn, be it contraception, marriage equality or other.
Dems should, but they won’t, force votes on things like guaranteed prenatal care, financial support for families, child care etc, using R framing about the importance of life, bla, bla, bla. Dems also should be pushing legislation to protect women seeking abortion and those that are assisting them from pernicious state laws. Again I doubt this will happen as the Dem leadership is too wedded to process and regular order. There’s not time, the August recess is in 6 weeks, then the budget needs passing and then the election…
I took a walk this morning just before dawn. After 3 weeks of hot it was 59F and you could not believe how refreshing it felt. Almost brisk until I got the blood flowing. It was glorious.
I’m still feeling low and angry and frustrated because of Supreme Court stuff and January 6 stuff. I think we’re fucked and getting more fucked everyday and I can’t do jack shit about it. The American experiment is dying in front of my eyes.
But for a hour today it was really nice and pleasant.
The white supremacist sites come right out and say it: No abortions for white women. Others should be encouraged to abort.
I have granddaughters. Doing nothing is not an option.
In good news. Got gas yesterday in the Pilot and noticed that the price was down about ~$0.35 from 2 weeks ago. Though it was a shock to pay $30 to fill one of the motorcycles, 5 gal of high test.
Re “And the band played on,” a version from the inimitable Albert Ellis:
Yesterday morning at 10:45 on my bike ride it was 61F. After I turned and was heading into the wind, I was thinking that perhaps I should have worn the heavier shirt. It’s a nice respite this weekend, but the high temperature is supposed to be back up into the 90s by Tuesday.
I find the wording here fascinating. I’m pretty sure they’re alluding to the Black Genocide argument on the right–the idea that abortion rights constitutes genocide against unborn black babies (or in the above, unborn babies of color), and therefore that the opponents of abortion are the ones saving black people from their own demise. Whenever this argument is articulated, they usually skirt over the implication that the main perpetrators of this supposed genocide would be black women, or that banning abortion is in fact taking rights away from black women. It’s part of a family of conservative arguments that implicitly denies agency to black people and treats them as dupes to white liberals. (In this case, it raises the question of why white liberals would want to commit genocide against one of their most crucial voting blocs.)
But notice that in the above statement, it doesn’t say that repeal of abortion rights will be good for women of color; it says it will have a “disproportionate impact” on them. At best the language is neutral, and in fact “disproportionate impact” tends to be a phrase invoked when someone wants to suggest something has a fairly negative effect on certain groups of people. (This may not be an absolute rule–I’m not sure you’d find it in dictionaries–but I think it’s how the term is generally used.) In its own way, this attempt to weather the controversy is just as much of a Freudian slip-up, and unwitting Kinsley gaffe, as the original statement they’re trying to explain away.
Thoughts and prayers.
@OzarkHillbilly: My first reaction, like you, was “Kinsey Gaffe”, but with a little googling I’m now wondering if it wasn’t a shout out to her real beliefs. She was in hot water a while ago because she favorably quoted Hitler in a speech, and her husband’s truck was spotted on the Capitol grounds on January 6th bearing a large Three Percenter decal.
I vote. I protest. I donate. I e-mail my duly elected representatives and voice my opinion civilly. I am doing whatever I can think of to change our path.
I don’t know what else to do. My quiver is empty. I don’t know what to do.
We are clearly failing and fast, off the rails, and I have zero fucking clue what to do about that.
One of our political parties just almost pulled off an authoritarian coup and most of my fellow citizens either can’t be bothered to care, or they actively approve. The Supreme Court is bought and paid for.
We’re fucking this up and I can’t do jack diddly squat but watch it happen. Nothing meaningful or substantive I can do will matter.
When someone tells you who they are, believe them.
Update to last week, when I said I awoke with a sore throat that lasted days: I’ve had two PCRs and several rapids (both at-home and at the testing vans), and they’ve all come out negative. And the symptoms never spread beyond my throat. So I guess it was just a cold.
Still, I’m not totally sure of the accuracy of these Covid-testing vans. They seem to stick the swab in for very little time.
@OzarkHillbilly: Freudian slip?
I know sure as shit there will be yet another school shooting soon.
I have a personal ritual after every instance where I sit and listen to The Boomtown Rats’ I Don’t Like Mondays and ponder on evil and trauma. It is my coping mechanism. I cry. I wring my hands.
Everyone will mourn. Rs will offer up thoughts and prayers. Advocates will agitate for change.
We won’t can’t don’t do anything. Of course we won’t.
We are middle of the chart of violent crime by pop in OECD stats. We are so off the chart in gun deaths by pop they fudge the y axis to incorporate us. We shame the rest of the developed world in how good we are at killing each other with guns.
We Americans are not exceptionally violent. We are extraordinarily efficient. We have guns. We are awash in guns. We excel at killing each other with guns.
I expect to rituallistically sit and listen to I Don’t Like Mondays in the future a lot. It’s baked in. We made a deal with the devil and there is no backing out and the deal requires blood sacrifice.
Some fool believes it is now Hillary’s moment.
Then you are doing something, a number of somethings in fact. I am certainly not gonna ask you or anyone else to do more than they can. As for this,
@Sleeping Dog: Hillary is not a fool.
While our esteemed bloggers routinely point out the ways in which the deck is stacked against majority rule, I still have to wonder at what point this breaks. The majority of humans, representing the majority of our economy, are simply going to lie down and accept that they will never see their desires translated into policy? At some point his has to break right?
@Sleeping Dog: The political left has still not grappled with what a terrible candidate she was. Yes Russia, yes misogyny, yes James Comey, but what a terribly unlikable and clearly cynical human to put forth.
@Sleeping Dog: That “some fool” is John Ellis, Dubya’s first cousin whom some may remember as the Fox anchor who prematurely called Florida for Bush in 2000.
I wouldn’t think anyone on the left has any misconceptions about HRC, but there is a subset of second wave feminists and Clinton appratchnicks that would want her. And as @Kylopod: points out, the writer is likely not a Dem.
How do you think it would shake out if she ended up running against Trump again?
@PoliticalBiker: Anyone who says that she is unlikable is buying into the false Republican narrative and the unrelenting bullsh!t that women in positions of power are forced to navigate.
Hillary Clinton has some of the most loyal former employees and staffers I have ever come across in politics. They adore her because she is smart, funny, kind and caring. That she was unable to translate this on the campaign trail is as much our fault as a society as it was hers as a candidate.
@PoliticalBiker: I never saw her as cynical. But I also never saw her husband as likable.
The only time I didn’t feel a visceral dislike for him was when he was introducing his wife at the 2016 convention. He actually believed what he was saying, for once in his public life.
And on Hillary — if she ran her Presidential campaign the way she ran her Senate campaign, she would have won. She started from behind, with high negatives, and was open and vulnerable and genuine, and when people got to see that side of her they liked her.
She obviously hated doing it, as she never did it again, and that should have been a clue to her that appointed positions were the best spots for her.
@Sleeping Dog: “Some fool believes it is now Hillary’s moment.”
Some assclown is looking for clicks. End of story.
@Sleeping Dog: My inner right wing nut-job (yes, I have one–he spends most of his time locked in a closet in the basement) is excited about the prospect. 😀
Still, the author may have some of the details in hand. The there is no bench thing looks spot on from my perspective, for example.
@PoliticalBiker: “The majority of humans, representing the majority of our economy, are simply going to lie down and accept that they will never see their desires translated into policy?”
As much as I’d like to embrace your scenario, my take is that the majority of humans, representing the majority of our economy find that their desires are being translated into policy. A significant amount of policy discussion concerns what happens at the margins–LGBTQ+, the homeless, the underemployed, people who actually need the services of an abortionist, and so on. The notion that voters are altruistically desiring policies that mostly affect people they will never know or be strikes me as unrealistic.
@CSK: MR would be shouting “he’s not my president!” in the comment threads the next day. IOW, just like last time.
Illinois General Primary Election Update
Polls open 6am Tuesday, June 28
Richard Irvin “I’m their worst nightmare!” recently polled third behind Darren Bailey and Jesse Sullivan. Irvin was first in early polls thanks to $50million from sugar daddy Ken Griffin. Just five days ahead of the Republican primary next Tuesday Griffin announced he will move his Citadel Hedge fund and associated businesses from Chicago to Florida. Citadel has said the move has nothing to do with Irvin’s tanking in the polls.
Front runner Bailey is the Jesus candidate however the money man behind Bailey is Richard Uihlein an heir to the Schlitz brewing fortune among other enterprises.
There are several state offices on the Jackson County, Illinois Democratic Primary Specimen Ballot that list “no candidate”.
One of those posts Representative in the General Assembly 118th Representative District has a citizen running a Write-In campaign. Van Ikner needs only 400 write-in votes to earn a place on the November General Election ballot to oppose the Republican candidate for that seat.
I have decided that I will visit the polls Tuesday and write-in Van Ikner to promote competitiveness in our democracy. I am inspired to do so by Professor Taylor’s writings on the subject.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
So you think Trump would win?
And…MR???? Michael Reynolds?
The celebrated kid-lit author?
And yes, I do. I’m not even convinced that he won’t beat Biden if he runs again. (And don’t get me started on the optics of all of the “most viable” presidential candidates in the Democratic Party being over 70.)
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
Well, that’s depressing. About Trump, I mean.
@PoliticalBiker: And yet she still got close to 3 million more votes than trump.
On election night 2016, I was so convinced that Clinton would win that I didn’t even bother to watch the returns. Woke up about three a.m., couldn’t get back to sleep, so I grabbed my laptop.
Jesus, that was a shock.
@CSK: Yeah, I woke up the next morning and wanted to puke.
I had dinner with friends a few nights later and we were all still in a state of befuddled disbelief. Actually, I still am.
Lauren Boebert says that Donald Trump was “prayed into office” so he could put an end to abortion.
Never heard this one before: snollygoster
Used in a sentence:
I’m pretty sure a soggy sandwich would beat TFG in the general, the damage of the 1/6 committee is ensuring that. But he can get the R nomination, which is why Murdoch, the wealthy patrons and the senior leadership of the party are quietly working to undermine his candidacy while promoting DeSantis. One R consultant was quoted, comparing what is happening now to what happened in the run up to the 2000 primary where the party worked to clear the field for Bush.
Of course, as Krugman pointed out this week, TFG won’t go quietly into the good night and is likely to take the party down with him. R’s are probably hoping he’s indicted and is preoccupied with his defense.
Jamie Raskin said something that bothered me, to wit, that he wasn’t interested in prosecuting Trump so much as he was in ensuring that something like Jan. 6 never happened again.
That’s a worthy goal, to be sure, but wouldn’t prosecuting Trump help greatly to achieve it?
I agree, it seems the best way to forestall a future attempted coup would be to send the perpetrators of a failed one to the hoosegow.
@PoliticalBiker: Bullshit. The “political left” supported Bernie, and is more than happy to tell you how bad Hillary is. Hillary was not a bad candidate. Bernie would not have won. Biden might have.
Hillary was only a bad candidate insofar as she has had a hate campaign unfairly waged against her for several decades. And that’s what I’d like people to admit.
@CSK: I was quite the opposite. I had a strange, sick feeling for at least a day before the election that she wasn’t going to win. My husband thought I was nuts (and doing my worst-case-scenario thinking/anxiety thing). At around 9 or 10 p.m., I couldn’t watch anymore. I knew something was off. No exaggerating, I cried for most of the next three days–largely because I knew the Court was on the line.
I may be more of a cockeyed optimist than you–but then I haven’t had your experience working in the political arena.
I simply found it impossible to believe that a toweringly ignorant, hopelessly vulgar churl as Trump is could be elected.
@Han: Hillary ran a bad campaign.
The vote totals in the key states were so close that basically everything that was wrong could be pointed to as the cause, but we cannot pretend that one of those causes was her campaign. She and her team took things for granted that they shouldn’t have. They didn’t think they could lose to a buffoon like Trump, and that affected the decisions they made,
Her campaign focused far too much on the historic nature of her gender — there was a lot of “I’m with HER” stuff, with a little arrow in the E. Watching her ads, I felt left out — which is clearly my white male privilege being tweaked, but if a lefty guy finds it off putting, a medium misogynistic voter is really going to feel excluded. Men are fragile.
And finally, Clinton knew she had to fight against the anti-Clinton bullshit, knew what the bullshit would be, and ran anyway without a good plan at hitting back against the bullshit.
Among the many reasons that Clinton lost was her own hubris.
Had her campaign slogan been “Have Vagina. Will Travel. Will Fight For You.” I think she would have done better.
” Anyone who says that she is unlikable is buying into the false Republican narrative and the unrelenting bullsh!t that women in positions of power are forced to navigate.”
Nope, she was not very likable. Its a weird metric and I suspect that it may inherently tip against women in some ways who have to prove, because they are women, that they are tough enough to be CinC yet also be likable. Still, she was pretty stiff in public and did not come across as comfortable in her own skin. Bill was a natural campaigner. She was not. I am sure she was wonderful in person and in small groups but her large public appearances were not inspiring. Also, while it was exaggerated by Republicans the Clintons did have ethical issues. Voted for her anyway since Trump was so bad.
@CSK: “Lauren Boebert says that Donald Trump was “prayed into office” so he could put an end to abortion.”
How many abortions do you figure she’s had? Six? 12?
I don’t know. I’m sure Trump paid for many–if the women could pry the money from him.
@Mister Bluster: Wait a second…in Smith/Illinois Family Institute’s model, the moderate element are the snollygosters who need to be “excised?” Did I read that right?
[checks notes as posted]
That’s promising. 🙁
these are christians. I’m sure that they know what’s best for everyone.
@CSK: Raskin is a Congressperson. Prosecutions of his peers and others in his circle of influence may be a bridge to far for him. (And he may know something about retaliation–potential or overtly planned–that he’s not telling us.)
@mister bluster: So I guess that whole “as much as it within you lies, live at peace with your neighbors” thing in The Book of Romans is out now. Not surprised you understand. They’re in a fight for real estate that they believe will be transformed at the end of days, you know.
Sorry, I don’t buy this either. Had she wore, no one would be saying this. Only in perfect 20/20 hindsight can people point out where things could have been done more successfully. In the moment, everyone expected her to win, and the rare criticisms of her campaign came from people with a self-serving reason for doing so.
Well as a lefty white male, I didn’t feel excluded. I also wasn’t bothered by arguments for electing the first Black president eight years prior, either in the primary or the general.
This is certainly true. And central to why I think our first female president will be a Republican.
@Han: “won”, dammit. My kingdom for an edit button.